BALTIMORE (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced a lawsuit July 5 against Diversified Maintenance Systems LLC, a provider of janitorial services, for allegations of refusing to hire a class of African-American candidates because of their race.

"This case involves charges of egregious discrimination based on race, where an entire class of black candidates were denied hire because of the color of their skin," said EEOC District director Spencer H. Lewis. "Under federal law, workers who stand up to employers and to oppose their discriminatory practices may not be punished for doing so."

According to the EEOC, Diversified engaged in a pattern of race discriminate that goes back at least as far as Jan. 1, 2012. The company allegedly refused to hire black applicants for custodian, lead custodian or porter positions. Its district managers would purportedly tell area managers to not hire African-Americans and to deter African-Americans from applying. Alleged conduct of this nature violates Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

"Race-based barriers to employment will not be tolerated and we will strongly advocate for the rights of those who suffer such mistreatment,” regional attorney Debra M. Lawrence said.

Additional allegations against the company include subjecting African-American janitorial supervisor Dana Fields to severe and repeated acts of race harassment. The EEOC seeks monetary remedies for Fields and for the class of African-American applicants.

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